Thursday, 24 September 2020

Questions (196)

Bernard Durkan


196. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science if and when a review can be undertaken of the refusal of a SUSI grant to a person (details supplied); if the circumstances could be urgently reviewed and taken into account with a view to awarding the SUSI grant in this case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26028/20]

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Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

As part of a comprehensive customer service and communications strategy provided by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI), to ensure that all necessary avenues are open to applicants to receive the information they need, a dedicated email and phone line service is provided by SUSI for Oireachtas members. This was established to meet an identified need for applicants who choose to engage the assistance of their public representatives in making enquiries about their grant applications. This service, which was set up at the behest of Oireachtas members, complements the established channels provided by SUSI which include online application tracking, a dedicated website, a telephone helpdesk, email and social media, including Facebook and Twitter. Enquiries may be emailed direct to SUSI at Staff in SUSI are responding to email queries within a matter of days.

With regard to the specific application, I have been advised by my officials that the student in question submitted an application to SUSI. The application was subsequently refused on the 16/09/2020 as the appeals officer determined that there is no basis to apply a change of circumstances with regard to the current grant applicantion.

Under Section 21 of the Student Support Act 2011 the applicant has a further right to appeal to the Student Grants Appeals Board. The applicant is required to submit his appeal within 30 days of the date of the letter from SUSI. Appeals to the Student Grants Appeals Board may be submitted through an online process available at . To date no appeal has been received by the Board from the applicant.